{pretty, happy, funny, real} :: forty

by | Jan 26, 2018 | Happy Birthday | 29 comments

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~


It’s not easy to make a beautiful cake without any grains, gluten, dairy, nuts, seeds, eggs, or sugar (basically just using vegetables and/or fruit with some honey or maple syrup) but this is the third year in a row that our girls have made one for my birthday! This year they decided on a Raspberry-Coconut “Cheesecake”. I’m still enjoying the leftovers! 🎂😍

I was also blessed with beautiful roses from my husband, white daisies mixed with pink flowers from my dearest friends and her family, and on Saturday my sister showed up with even more flowers!


Coconut Chai Tea 

One of the things I’ve been missing the most, since I went back to 100% AIP on the 1st, is my Coconut Milk Chai Tea each day. It had been my favorite cheat since the baby was born. I would make it with Coconut Milk and the Slightly Sweet Oregon Chai Tea. My girls ran across a recipe in one of my Autoimmune Protocol cookbooks and made it for me!


OSF Tickets to Sense and Sensibility!!!

I’m a hard one to surprise with anything, but my husband had all sorts of surprises for my birthday this year including beautiful roses, an appointment scheduled at a day spa for a facial on (last) Saturday afternoon, and three tickets for me and the older girls to go see Sense and Sensibility opening night at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival!


I joked that I wanted to go sledding so the kids could take a picture of me coming down the hill while they hold a sign that says “over the hill and picking up speed!” 😉 It’s been a very mild winter here though and we hadn’t had any snow within driving distance. The ski resort hasn’t even been able to open yet due to lack of snow… (We actually woke up to a light layer of snow this morning! It was slushy and has already melted but the kids were so excited.) Instead we ended up taking the kids miniature golfing and had the whole golf course to ourselves!

After golfing we ended up going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. I didn’t think it was funny when our waiter made me sit up on a saddle and then announced to the whole restaurant “This is Jessica. She is celebrating her 40th birthday today!”  On our way home we told the story to the young barista at the coffee drive through. He responded, “No way! You don’t look that old!”  Ummm, thanks?

Someone got a hole in one. Hint: It wasn’t the boys! 


I haven’t had a chance to get my hair cut since last March and it had gotten really long and dry/scraggly. My mom and dad surprised me with an appointment to get it cut and highlighted on Saturday with a new hairdresser. She even curled it for me! Even after getting over six inches cut off it’s still long but feels so much healthier.

{A Few More Birthday Pictures} 


  1. Katie

    Happy Birthday, Jessica!

    2018-01-16 19:22:36

  2. Marilyn

    Wishing you a day of happiness and a year of blessings. God Bless. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA Marilyn,Joan and Marion

    2018-01-16 22:55:33

  3. Maggie

    Wonderful! Happy birthday!

    2018-01-26 03:47:55

  4. Tammy Cordery

    Have a wonderful birthday and many more.

    2018-01-26 04:34:57

  5. Sherri

    Happy birthday, Jessica! You are definitely NOT over the hill! It looks like you had a wonderful day. Your new haircut looks beautiful.Thank you for sharing.

    2018-01-26 14:35:16

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Haha! I know. It was fun to joke about though, and I do remember thinking my mom was "old" when she was my age and I had already moved out!

    2018-01-27 01:49:07

  7. Bernadette O.

    What a beautiful birthday celebration, Jessica! God bless you! 🙂

    2018-01-26 19:10:11

  8. Joan

    What a wonderful birthday you had. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA. Joan

    2018-01-26 19:41:27

  9. Marion

    Thank You for sharing your special day. Your hair looks lovely. HAPPY and a BLESSED BIRTHDAY and YEAR.

    2018-01-26 19:42:49

  10. Marilyn

    Glad you had a nice birthday. The girls cake is so pretty and looks delicious. Thank Toy for sharing your special day. Have a joy filled year and blessings,too. Happy Birthday Jessica. Marilyn

    2018-01-26 19:46:22

  11. Mary

    Whenever I see your posts I think 'Wow, you are living the dream!' but then I realize so am I – I just don't have it documented so beautifully. I really enjoy your pictures and your writing. Happy birthday! ❤️

    2018-01-26 19:57:45

  12. Katie

    Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a wonderful day. The cake is beautiful! Your daughters did a great job. I noticed it has 29 raspberries on it, which I thought was funny because…aren't we all 29? Was that just a coincidence?

    2018-01-26 20:23:09

  13. Sarah Halas

    Happy birthday! What a great way to spend the day. May God bless you all the year through!

    2018-01-26 22:09:23

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Bernadette! God bless you too!

    2018-01-27 01:49:24

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Joan! It really was a wonderful day!

    2018-01-27 01:49:49

  16. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Marilyn! I am so grateful to have such thoughtful and loving children.

    2018-01-27 01:50:48

  17. Guest

    Happy birthday! You radiate the glow of timeless Biblical womanhood!

    2018-01-26 23:04:52

  18. Christine M.

    Happy birthday! What a wonderful day it looks like you had! Your hair looks really cute with your new haircut. God bless and prayers!

    2018-01-27 00:05:00

  19. Karen H

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your YOUTH! Yes, 40 is SO YOUNG!! What delightful photos of your beautiful brood. You look waaay too young to have had any of them except that little doll with the red rose headband. When I saw that photo of her asleep in your arms I thought, YES! She DID FINALLY go to sleep!! But then I realized it's THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY and you are still ON THE JOB CARRYING HER! I hope that these days her sleeping pattern is much better and is helping improve yours 😉 Love and prayers for your year ahead!

    2018-01-27 03:17:11

  20. Valerie

    Many happy returns of the day to you!

    2018-01-27 04:11:50

  21. Shelly

    Happy Birthday Jessica – you don't look a day over 29! Your hair is gorgeous curly or not. Noticed in the pictures both you and your older daughter are wearing jeans – I don't think I've ever saw you in pants – is it a new switch?

    2018-02-02 19:30:12

  22. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Shelly! That will most likely be the only time it's curled this year. I have a hard time finding the time to dry it, let alone curl it, with this new little one. 😉 No, that isn't a new switch. You can spot me in jeans in a picture taken on a day-trip to the coast a few years ago and probably a few other spots on the blog. Our younger girls don't have any jeans (just some bermuda/longer shorts for golf camp and other summer activities) but our oldest daughter has had a pair or two the last couple winters. We originally got them for her to wear to her older brother's hockey games, camping, hiking, biking, etc. I prefer wearing my skirts but I've been having a bit of a clothes dilemma due to weight gain and back issues…. I'm definitely feeling my age, if not older! I have a closet full of great skirts right now but they are all either too small (I have a good 30+ pounds to lose following this last pregnancy. Despite sticking to my diet 100% this year I just can't seem to lose any of the weight. I know it has to do with stress and lack of sleep, and maybe nursing.) or too long (the larger maxi skirts I had saved from before I lost weight that fit multiple sizes all need to either be hemmed up or worn with my heeled shoes, which I can't wear at the moment due to back issues). I'm tempted to go shopping for new clothes, but my husband keeps encouraging me to not give up and keep working on getting back into what I have in my closet. In the meantime I have a couple skirts that work for Mass and at home I am usually in either a pair of back workout/support pants leftover fror my pregnancy or one of two pairs of jeans that currently fit, along with my back brace, nursing tank, and a long sweater or cardigan. Hopefully by summer I'll be able to get back into some of my favorite skirts. I miss wearing them!

    2018-02-02 22:07:15

  23. Jessica Gordon

    Haha! I had to go back and count them in the picture! One of the girls said she had put 30 on and that with the 10 candles it would total 40! Now I can't remember if I took the pictures before or after I gave the baby one of the raspberries or if she miscounted 🙂

    2018-02-02 22:09:38

  24. Debbie

    Happy Belated Birthday Jessica!!! Your Birth Day celebration looks so special from the beautiful smiles of each of your children to the delicious cake! It is a masterpiece! Beautiful flowers and such a fun outing with your family! Your parent's birthday gift was so thoughtful and your new haircut is lovely. You deserve to be pampered Jessica. I admire your devotion to motherhood. God's many continued blessings to you for a happy year ahead!

    2018-02-05 19:07:49


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

My Other Blog: Catholic Cuisine

Please Visit My Sponsors…

This Week's Popular Posts

Shower of Roses Affiliate Links

All About Spelling
All About Reading
All About Reading Pre-reading
All About Reading Giveaways
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Our Advent & Christmas Books

Shower of Roses Christmas Gift Guides

Looking for Something?

Looking Back

  • 2024 (6)
  • 2023 (30)
  • 2022 (48)
  • 2021 (48)
  • 2020 (57)
  • 2019 (61)
  • 2018 (90)
  • 2017 (128)
  • 2016 (148)
  • 2015 (172)
  • 2014 (227)
  • 2013 (238)
  • 2012 (308)
  • 2011 (297)
  • 2010 (313)
  • 2009 (486)
  • 2008 (564)
  • 2007 (148)